Most of the barley is already up and away. The unusually balmy weather we have experienced into October has kept the soil temperature sufficiently warm to encourage instant germination and vigorous growth. There is now a green haze across the fields which is encouraging. I am pleased we did not plant any earlier; chance would have been a fine thing, as we were too busy gathering in our very late crops of spring barley and Lupins.
There is a happy balance between excessive growth at this time of year which can attract disease and pests, and not enough growth and the plants can be set back by harsh weather or excessive rain during the winter months. Getting it right is generally a case of luck rather than judgement as we endeavour to complete the jobs which stack up at this time of year.
Perhaps someone with influence could do whatever is the opposite of a rain dance. We could do with a dry spell, and those who have maize to harvest would also benefit. There seem to be hundreds of acres still standing across Sussex, and if this rain keeps up, once again there will be much clearing up of mud off the roads as tractors heave loaded trailers out of muddy fields.
The row as to whether Ralph Miliband was “The man who hated Britain” which has been encouraged to run and run by the BBC, and a Royal Charter which would create state licencing of the press, which has been proposed and published by the three main political parties are undeniably linked.
It is debatably whether Mr Miliband senior hated Britain, I suspect not. However it is indisputable that he despised British traditions and institutions such as the Royal family, the Church, the army, our liberties and Western democracy.
I would argue that Mr Miliband like a growing army of fanatics and extremists who today are lurking in the shadows of our towns and cities, far from hating Britain, they love it. What they hate are the British, our institutions, our democracy and the freedom of the press. As one young radical young man said to an acquaintance of mine who had for several weeks instructed him in order to gain his HGV license, “We love this country it is beautiful and one day it will be ours. It is you the British we hate, you and your kind will in time be wiped out.”
It should be unthinkable that British politicians even consider jeopardising the ability of the press to raise matters which question, investigate and bring to the attention of the public issues which may otherwise be hidden or brushed under the carpet. In so many ways the press today are our eyes and ears.
The telephone tapping incidents were unforgiveable but we have in place existing laws which deal with the people who offend. Those involved have been arrested and many will end up in jail or with hefty fines.
However, the likes of Mr Hugh Grant who has been given an extraordinary amount of air time by the BBC on the subject, and those who attract notoriety for various reasons or have chosen careers which attract public attention, should not bleat that they are being abused by the press when caught out or their actions questioned.
I also suspect that some MPs are hoping to get their own back on The Daily Telegraph following its investigations which revealed the Parliamentary expenses fiasco.
The organisation Hacked Off would have us believe their concerns are about curbing the ‘excessive’ power of newspapers. No, it is about some self-interested politicians of all persuasions, criminals and celebrities who wish to have their cake and eat it.
It is unthinkable that British politicians should regulate the press. As Paul Dacre, Editor of The Daily Mail said “Politicians should not be allowed anywhere near statutory press regulation.”
The MPs who are pushing for this legislation should hang their heads in shame as they blatantly set about gagging the press. The world is watching them, some in disbelief. Anyone would think they had indeed something to hide.
However the press must get their act together and put forward a plausible counter argument with a system of self or independent regulation which is credible and acceptable to the public. They can then politely tell our politicians where to stuff their statutory regulations.
Carola Godman Irvine